Hospital Corpsman (HM) Navy Enlisted Rating

Hospital Corpsman (HM)

Sailors furl the colors of the Naval Hospital Corps School Great Lakes during a disestablishment ceremony
Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr

Hospital Corpsmen (HM) perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to Navy people and their families. They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment.

Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Force, Special Forces and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Duties performed by HM's include:

  • assisting in prevention and treatment of disease and injuries;
  • caring for sick and injured;
  • administering immunization programs;
  • rendering emergency medical treatment;
  • instructing sailors and marines in first aid, self-aid, and personal hygiene procedures;
  • transporting the sick and injured;
  • conducting preliminary physical examinations;
  • performing medical administrative, supply and accounting procedures;
  • maintaining treatment records and reports;
  • supervising shipboard and field environmental sanitation and preventive medicine programs;
  • supervising air, water, food, and habitability standards;
  • performing clinical laboratory tests and operating sophisticated laboratory equipment;
  • taking and processing X-rays and operating X-ray equipment;
  • filling prescriptions, maintaining pharmacy stock;
  • serving as operating room technicians for general and specialized surgery;
  • performing preventive maintenance and repairs on biomedical equipment.

Working Environment

Hospital corpsmen work in a variety of environments.

Most HMs works indoors in hospitals or clinics. Others work aboard ships and submarines; with air squadrons, special operational environments (e.g., SEAL, Recon Forces, Seabee units and Deep-sea Diving). Duties are service oriented, repetitive and require good judgment and mental alertness. HM's may work alone or with supervision by other health professionals, depending on the assignment.

Women are assigned to most ships and field medical support units of the Fleet Marine Force (FMF). Women are not assigned to submarines, with the SEALs, or some units of the FMF.

A-School (Job School) Information

Great Lakes, IL --96 calendar days

A-School teaches basic principles and techniques of patient care and first aid procedures through group and modular instruction. After completion of "A" school, hospital corpsmen are normally assigned to Navy medical treatment facilities although some are assigned to operational units. Advanced training in a "C" school, a tour at sea or ashore, overseas or with the Marine Corps may follow this initial tour. The HM field has several sub-specialities in which personnel may request advanced "C" school training (see "Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating," below).

En route to their first permanent duty stations, most male HMs will be assigned to either Field Medical Service School, Camp Lejeune NC, or Camp Pendleton CA, for specialized training in the knowledge and skills required to perform medical services in the field with the Marine Corps and/or the "Seabees."

ASVAB Score Requirement: VE+MK+GS=146

Security Clearance Requirement: None (Note: Some assignments may require a Security Clearance)

Other Requirements

  • Applicants must be informed that they will be assigned to duties involving direct patient care and clinical services
  • Male applicants must be informed that they may be assigned to the Fleet Marine Force for duty.
  • 60-month service obligation
  • A licensed physician or dentist licensed or graduate of the medical or dental school in any country is not eligible for this rating.
  • No history of drug abuse or commission of offenses involving alcohol, narcotics or other controlled substances with the exception of the experimental or casual use of marijuana.
  • Applicants must be of the highest standards as requirements are strictly adhered to before accession into the HM community.

Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating: Navy Enlisted Classification Codes for HM

Current Manning Levels for This Rating: CREO Listing

Note: Advancement (promotion) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: N/A months
  • First Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Second Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Second Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Third Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Third Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Forth Shore Tour: N/A months

Note: Enlisted sea-shore flow career paths for the Hospital Corpsman community are dependent upon the sailor's specific NEC or specialty. Sailors in the HIM community can expect 36-month sea tours followed by 36-month shore tours except for those with NEC's that are shore-intensive. Those with operational extensive NEC's can expect longer sea tour lengths.

Much of the above information courtesy of the Navy Personnel Command.